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Patto - Patto CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.80 | 58 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Upon it's initial release, this curious blend of jazz and rock(which is not, as is the norm with jazz-rock, in the Bitches Brew/Mahavishnu Orchestra style) sold just an estimated 5,000 copies on it's initial 1970 debut. Released by the famous old Vertigo Label(them of the 'spiral')with a special-edition-style textured sleeve, original vinyl copies have become highly-sought items for collectors, with some editions changing hands for up to 500! As has become their style, Germany's Repertoire Records has released 'Patto' on a special edition original vinyl-replica CD - complete with the yellow, textured cover - and have once again captured the mystique of the original album for those rock-enthusiasts who can't find or afford original vinyl copies. The band themselves formed from the ashes of the 1960's singles group Timebox, and was built around vocalist Mike Patto and the hugely-talented guitarist Ollie Halsall, who's eccentric personalities seem to dominate the album. The sound is very much jazz-scaled rock, with the guitars and basses very much to the fore, with catchy rock-soul numbers interspersed with smoky jazz tunes and quirky, improvisational experimentation. Whilst 'Patto' does retain a certain mythical affection from some record collectors, it's not an essential prog-or-jazz album, but nevertheless is a highly-original and enjoyable one. The cool jazz-pop of 'Government Man' is possibly the best indicator of group's prediliction for combining catchy-choruses with proggy guitar-jazz, if not for the song's slight commercial potential that comes in the form of a catchy chorus built upon solid rock foundations, then for the crisp guitar-and-bass interplay that bristles with a funky gusto that gives 'Government Man' a unique, low-slung vibe. Later tracks tend to doodle a bit, especially the ten minute 'Money Bag', but on the whole this is a nicely-judged debut. It would, however, prove to be the peak of the group's recorded output. Follow-up 'Hold Your Fire' failed to re-produce the jazz-gustom and low-slung-rock of it's predecessor, whilst later efforts tended towards a sillier, less-progressive form of strange rock that saw the band incorporate a feature of their popular live show, known as 'Looning'(don't ask) into their already leftfield music. A minor band they may have been, but for one piece of vinyl Patto became, to some, genuine stars, thanks to their unique brand of chameleonic jazz-soul-rock and their sensational live shows. The hit-single or million-selling album may have aluded them, but they have at least contributed an impressiev album to the overall canon of prog, and genuine cult item as well. ST
stefro | 4/5 |


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